Odeum Opting for Quiet Autumn to Target 2021 Cox Plate

Mon 7th December 2020

Boom filly Odeum won’t be backing up her big spring campaign with an arduous autumn preparation, with connections eyeing the 2021 Cox Plate later in the year.

The Thousand Guineas winner won’t contest any of the big autumn races like the Australian Guineas, instead just having four runs, with the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) the likely grand final.

The Schweppes Oaks will give connections a chance to see the filly over 2000m, ahead of a possible Cox Plate tilt later in the year.

Part-owner Sheamus Mills confirmed the plans, confirming that the Cox Plate is the ultimate target if all goes to plan.

“It’s not going to be a glorious prep, but it will be one that sets her up as a four-year-old,” Mills said on Monday.

“Our dream, all of us, is to have a Cox Plate runner.

“While not over-taxing her, the beauty of the autumn prep is that we find out if she runs 2000 metres. I’d prefer to find out in the autumn if she runs 2000 metres rather than wait until the spring.

“If she does, we can start dreaming anyway.”

Odeum is currently spelling after her Thousand Guineas triumph and close second up against older horses in the Empire Rose Stakes.

“She looks unbelievable,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with her.

“She could have come back in after three weeks as she looks that well and had done that well, but I was just mindful that she did it all in his first prep.

“I don’t want to look back on the horse’s career and say that we got greedy with her.

“The plan was always to give her six weeks (in the paddock) and give her a light autumn and that’s what we are going to do.

“You can think about the (Australian) Guineas but that Melbourne autumn comes up quickly for a horse that’s had a spring (campaign). You really don’t get long in the paddock if you want to target the race like the Guineas.

“It’s a huge leap from three-year-old fillies to open class and as long as I have been following them, there have been any number of great three-year-old fillies that don’t measure up in open class as four and five-year-olds.

“She’ll have four runs in total. She comes back in on December 15 and then she’ll probably be first-up in the Vanity over 1400 metres at Flemington.

“She’ll go from the Vanity to the Laelia Stakes over a mile – it’s a three-year-old fillies Listed in Adelaide, and then she’ll take on the boys in the Port Adelaide Guineas over 1800 metres and then three weeks later into the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks over 2000 metres.

“The good thing about that prep is it obviously gives her four runs and she’ll be at set weights in three of those four races and only have to carry a penalty into the Laelia.”

From Muswellbrook to the Melbourne Cup, Will is mad about all things racing and sport. Spent countless hours in the backyard as a child pretending to be Glenn McGrath, and has been known to get deadly late swing with a taped tennis ball.